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Donald L. Chalmers

DONALD L. CHALMERS Donald L. Chalmers, 65, passed away peacefully on Easter morning, April 20, 2014, surrounded by his family. Known to most as Don or to his family as he was growing up as "Dude." Don was born on May 4, 1948 in Tulsa, Oklahoma to James S. (Bud) and Marjorie (Cohenour) Chalmers. Don is survived by his wife of 45 years, Dianne, his daughter Courtney and her husband Rob, his son Cameron and his wife Brandi, and his two grandchildren Kayley and Ben Howard. He is also survived by his two brothers Greg Chalmers and wife Karen, and Kirk Chalmers and wife LaDon along with other extended family. Don was active in his high school, Tulsa Memorial High School, where he was Vice President of Student Council his senior year and a member of the wrestling team. He went on to attend Tulane University where he was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity. He returned back to Oklahoma to marry his high school sweetheart, Dianne, in 1969 and attended Oklahoma State University and received his BS degree in Marketing in 1970. Don along with his two brothers worked at the family automotive parts business all through junior high and high school. Being close in age many good times were had amongst the brothers and their parents along with their dog, Bruce. Don's grandfather, Jimmy Chalmers, a Scottish immigrant, lived with the family. Don and his brothers learned about their Scottish heritage from him as it was a main stay of their family tradition. Don travelled several times to Scotland to experience more of his heritage which was extremely important to him. Family to Don was always near and dear to his heart. Whether travelling on business or pleasure Dianne was always with him. A large part of his heart was in Texas where his children and grandchildren live. He travelled to Dallas to spend as much time with them as he could and to cheer on his beloved Dallas Cowboys. Don loved to play golf and was able to experience some of the best golf courses around the world. From his days of fishing in the ponds and creeks around his home as a young boy, Don fell in the love with the solitude of fishing. He fly fished throughout the world with friends and his son, Cameron. Don was both a connoisseur and student of wine, taking great pleasure in knowing the history of different wines. With his love of reading, he most enjoyed learning more about history, business leadership and self improvement. Throughout his life animals played an important part whether it was his lizards, turtles, and snakes as a young boy or his horses and dogs as he had as an adult. His dog, Minnie, stole his heart the minute she came to live with them. Don started his career with Ford Motor Company as a Dealer Representative in Houston, TX. He would call upon local dealers and was so highly thought of by one dealer that he was given the opportunity to become a partner in a dealership in San Antonio, TX. During this time their children, Courtney and Cameron, were born. Two years later, he became partner in Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington. He went on to own eight automotive dealerships in the Seattle area which included twelve franchises. In 1987, Don sold his interests in the Seattle dealerships and moved back to Tulsa where he owned and managed two successful dealerships. Education has always been extremely important to Don. He wanted to lend his leadership abilities and was elected and served on the Jenks Board of Education, one of the largest school district in Oklahoma. Don was very active in the Tulsa, Broken Arrow and Jenks communities where he served on various boards and led the community by example. Throughout the years, Don and Dianne greatly enjoyed watching their children's activities throughout high school and then sending them off to college. In 1995, Don sold his dealerships in Tulsa and he and Dianne moved to New Mexico where he was asked by Ford Motor Company to build a new dealership in Rio Rancho. With Don's foresight, he built a non-traditional car dealership where the customer would have a more positive buying experience. His personal family values were extended into the culture of his dealerships. Don was very loyal to all his employees and treated them like his extended family. Don Chalmers Ford opened its doors on February 29, 1996. He acquired Chalmers Capitol Ford in March 2007. Don shared his leadership abilities with various national, state and local organizations. Don served as Vice-President of the University of New Mexico Board of Regents; Vice-President of the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Board of Directors; Served on the board of the National Auto Dealer Association and was Chairman of the Government Relations and Industry Relations committees; Board member of the Ford National Dealer Council; Past Chairman of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes National Board; Past Chairman of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce and the Rio Rancho Chamber of Commerce; Past Chairman of United Way of Central New Mexico and Alexis de Tocqueville Society; Past President and current member of the Rotary Club of Albuquerque del Sol; and numerous other boards and organizations. He was especially gratified to recently co-chair the Capital Campaign for the National Dance Institute Highland Theater Renovation raising over $14 million dollars. In lieu of flowers the family is asking for contributions to be sent in Don's memory to one of the following: University of New Mexico Cancer Center, Attn: Justin Schroer, 1201 Camino de Salud MSC07-4025, Albuquerque, NM 87131-001; National Dance Institute of New Mexico, 4800 Central SE, Albuquerque NM 87108 ; Fellowship of Christian Athletes, 8701 Leeds Road, Kansas City, MO 64129. Memorial services will be held on Friday, April 25th at 10:30 a.m. at Hoffmantown Church, 8888 Harper Rd NE, Albuquerque NM. Please visit our online guest book at www.FrenchFunerals.com. Funeral arrangements are being handled by French Mortuary - University, 1111 University Blvd NE, Albuquerque New Mexico. 505-843-6333.

Funeral Home

FRENCH Funerals – Cremations
1111 University Boulevard Albuquerque, NM 87102
(505) 843-6333
Published in Santa Fe New Mexican from Apr. 23 to Apr. 25, 2014
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